February 28, 2010

Day 12 Photo Op- The Blessing Way

Imagine how we as womyn may have looked at pregnancy and birth if we got to participate in Blessing ways as little girls. These little Goddesses that you see here washing my friend Melissa feet each are wearing have a strand of yarn around their wrist. All of us who were at the blessing way have one. We sang a song and created a web with yarn, it was symbolic of the web of support every birthing mother needs around here, especially when she does it on her own with a 2 year old. We each cut a strand and will wear it until Melissa’s new baby comes into this world.

Now I better hurry up and get my earlier journal entries edited so I can post this pic before she has a baby!


“What are you currently way behind on?” is the question in 12 days journal #322

February 27, 2010

Day 11 Photo Op- Happy Happy Joy Joy

I have so much to write about this day, and so little time to do it. We are headed home, it has been a full day of travel and we still have a way to go.

My eclectic dress and outlandish ways tend to get noticed when I travel. Travelling with Jill increases this about 10 fold. We went from destination to destination today enjoying every opportunity to connect. Jill gave away hand made patches while I took pictures and jotted down ideas for writings.


I noticed something today that I am very proud of. I have been aware of it before but travelling with Jill really made it pronounced! When we left people after connecting with them, be it the check in guy at the flight desk or the man in the gas station, we left them happier than they were when we first met. I knew this by the smiles on their faces, by their relaxed body posture and by how they were now speaking to others around them. The gift of happiness is one I am proud to be able to give. The best part is, every person I leave happier increases my happy. My happy is definitely on full today, thanks to Jill and all the people I have met today.

“What makes you happy?” is the question in 12 days journal #321

February 26, 2010

Day 10 Photo Op- Motel 6

Jill and I left Esalen in a storm today. Driving rain, boulders on the road, and our hearts filled with so much to take home and process. I found many answers, the work now it to decipher these answers.

This stretch of coast where we spent the last 7 days was once owned by the empire of William Randolph Hearst, a man wealthy beyond measure. He built a castle with his fortune, one that he worked ceaselessly on, dyeing before it was fully finished. This beautiful land inspired this man to build his dream. With endless resources he produced a real live European style castle filled with magic. This land has inspired much magic. Some call it a “power spot”, just like Nelson. I have spent time with my family here, I have met so many life long friends here, friendships where the connection ran deep within the first hour of meeting. I have sat at the feet of my teachers here, and have benefited from the teachings of many who never even knew they were my teachers. This day I drove away with a sister who is relatively new in my life,one who is now deeply embedded in my heart. This land is home to amazing spots like Esalen, artist enclave and hot bed of the human potential movement. It was a breeding ground for the revolutionary ideas of visionaries like Aldous Huxley, Abraham Maslow, Fritz Perls, Carl Rogers, Timothy Leary, naming just the tip of the iceberg. The Esselen people of the first nations lived here long before either the Hearst's or the founders of Esalen, they considered this land to be holy. Jill has her own personal history with Big Sur, the “town” which is not really a town but a littering of shops and amenities along the highways. The connections run deep for the both of us.

We had big plans, a bunch of big plans. Drive to San Fransisco, go dancing, stay up all night, maybe drop by our place in Santa Cruz where Dariel lives, maybe go to the market in the morning. As it turns out we made it to the Motel 6 in Gilroy, a town barely 60 miles away from Esalen. We modified the plan, decided to repack our bags then hit the town. We never left the room, our car stayed in the loading zone all night long. In case you are getting the impression that we fell asleep here is a picture out our window at nearly 6 in the morning.

After crying, laughing, processing, loving, and bonding all night long we finally fell asleep only because we were worried we wouldn’t make our plane in the morning if we didn’t. She is my sister, a fellow Goddess. She has so much to teach me and I am blessed to have her in my life. Thank you Jilly Bean, for this perfect night. I can think of nothing I would have rather done upon my exit from the magical land of Esalen, the Hearst Castle, Big Sur and the Esselen people, than spend it in a Motel 6 with you.


“Where have you travelled?” is the question in 12 days journal #320

February 25, 2010

Day 9 Photo Op- Ceremony


This is the spot where it all began. We started with a tobacco offering. This magical spot at the edge of the ocean, with nothing but salty water and ocean life for hundreds of miles, was where my journey with a new friend began. I have created much ceremony and ritual in my life, I am a bit of a junkie for the reverent. Finding the mystical in the day to day brings me closer to God, closer to me. And so this is where, after agreeing on the logistics this afternoon, we entered into ceremony together.

If you look up to the top of your screen, under the word “year” in “12 days 2 inspire ~ a year long journey, 12 days at a time”, you will see an ammonite. It is actually half of an ammonite, I have both halves, or at least I did. I brought both halves to Esalen with me, they sat on the altar in the dance dome while we prayed with our souls in motion, there they soaked up all the wondrous juju created by our dance rituals. Today I took both halves from the alter and gave them to my friend in the lodge, I asked him to hold them until we went into ceremony tonight under the almost full moon. Once we were finished offering tobacco to the mother, I bound the ammonites together. They were whole again, held in place by grasses pulled through the fence in this picture. From here we went on to create healing, forgiveness and beauty together; two souls meeting in meditation, two souls opening, steeping in the divine. We used ceremony to see our own selves through each other, we offered each other a mirror

“You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So- I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

- Jalaluddin Rumi”

When the ceremony was complete, we unbound the ammonite, separate halves of a whole again. My friend took half and I took the other. If either of us ever needs a reminder of what we learned that night, of what we saw, of the truths that were spoken to the starry sky, we can hold our ammonite and remember. If we should need to come together again, our halves of the ammonite will call out to each other, manifest a reunion. I will keep mine on my personal altar and listen carefully when I bow before it each day.

“How do you get what you want?” is the question in 12 days journal #319

February 24, 2010

Day 8 Photo Op- Mac Fest

What a trip this place is. It is process land, like a huge multi layered onion. So many beautiful folk filled with light and questions, shadow and yearning. So many on a path of discovery for self, discovery of the source eternal, trying to reconcile the two as one. Letting go of the idea of duality is a process with many layer, and Esalen has a way of tearing them away in quick succession.

I didn’t go to dance this morning. I went instead to help Rachel pack up Skylah and all the stuff babies require when travelling. After cuddles and aknowledgments of each others wonder, she left, on her way back to LA. Then I called my family. There were tears, onions are known for causing tears. I spoke with Michael, Chris and Ayla, it was so nice to speak with all of them. Each gave me a piece of what I needed to remember that I am whole here, even as I delve through so many layers. I love my family, we are so very beautiful, what we have created is magical.

With so little time left in the morning class I came to the lodge to write. It took till nearly noon for this to happen because it is so very hard not to get drawn into amazing conversations in this place. When I finally did find a place to settle down and write I found myself in a room full of my own people...Mac people. If there was an Olympics for new age sensitive types it would be sponsored by Mac. I am currently sitting in a room with 8 macs, 9 if you include the iPhone I took the picture with. It is such a funny phenomenon, this Mac revolution...I do so love my mac.


“What tools do you use to help you in your day to day life?” is the question in 12 days journal #318

February 23, 2010

Day 7 Photo Op- Valentine for God

Valentines was a little hectic this year, I felt a little stretched. Because of this I missed sending a Valentine to my main man...God.

Nearly 2 weeks late I created this drawing while in the dance. I have been taking it easy, not dancing as hard as I usually do, wanting to take care of this body of mine. I am healing, I am doing great, and I am being mindful not to push myself too hard. So for part of today instead of dancing, I doodled, wrote, created beauty with pens and paper rather than with my body. This creation began to emerged as I scribbling down the words spoken allowed by my teacher, friend and guru Vinn. I know that last one will really irk him, but hey, it is truth. He is the closest one outside myself that I have considered a Guru, an everyday mystic. Eventually I added colour to the drawing, and some more words. I didn’t start out with the intention of creating a Valentine, but this the wondrous thing about journals, magic emerges from the smallest of scribbles. My own personal journal has been sure a source of solace during the creation of the 12 days project, a place to put some things just for me, God, and now and then all of you.

(“I don’t know no tantra mantra, or ritualistic workshop. I only know you. Hold my Hand.”, “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly, Slowly......”)

The words on the Valentine are not Vinn’s. I was so entranced by the dance, by the voice of this mystical man who creates along with all of us a majestic manifestation of love, that I missed the author. It doesn’t really matter though, trace anything back far enough and it all come from the same source, The Source Eternal of All That is Known...some call it God, some the Goddess, there are many names. Today for brevity’s sake I choose to use God.

God, will you be my Valentine?

“How do you seek connection with others?” is the question in 12 days journal #317

February 22, 2010

Day 6 Photo Op- The Cat Came Back

This is Jeremy stretching his back after dance. Jeremy was my muse for this whole project and my first ever commitment partner within this magical foray into polyamory. I want to state for the record (and Jeremy) that he is not polyamorous. Despite this we fell in love and made it work for about 7 month. Then we went back to being friends, well not right away, I was a little pissed off and needed time to come around. Eventually though, we found our love again.

(A PICTURE OF JEREMY WAS SUPPOSE TO GO HERE BUT MY BLOG SOFTWARE IS OVERLOADED AND WON’T LET ME POST TWO PICS IN ONE POST, I can tell you he looked really handsome and it pains me to not be able to include the photo....c’est le vie)

Jeremy is the keeper of the journals here in the United States of America. He sent me an excited email a few days before I left home, a journal had arrived in the mail! We were both giddy. I told him he could open it, read it, and share it with me when we got to Esalen. He did.....

The journal which came back was 12 days journal # 54 Inside was but two entries. The first was from my sweet friend Katie, from Boulder Colorado, a reader and supporter of this blog (HEY KATY!! MISSING YOU HERE AT ESALEN!!!). The next was the following entry.

(“This was placed in my bicycle basket while I was in a shop. Why did the person not ask me permission before placing it in my personal space?? I felt invaded.”)

There was nothing else in the journal, it was completely blank other than this post it and Katie's first entry.

I am so thrilled, I think Jeremy thought I would be disappointed. Nope, not one bit. I love it. I love every authentic little bit of life that ends up on the pages of each journal.

It is really time to find the keys to my Canadian mailbox and check to see if anymore journals have arrived home. This project got so big I had to narrow my focus and as you might know it had to be the blog, it demands so much friggen attention. Then there are the emails, keeping up with all the beautiful people who write to me. It is now my full time job, I have worked every night I am here, and likely will continue to do so. Now is the time my hard work is paying off, the journals will start flowing in. The ones I have made that is, I think at this point I am backed up by about 100 journals. I know...brutal, but true. And if this blog is about anything it is about truth!

12 days journal #54 has continued it’s journey. It was given to a man by the name of Samuel. I know that this magic man will take care of this journal, and I can’t wait to read what he writes

“Whom have you met recently that inspired you?” is the question in 12 days journal #316

Sam you inspire me brother, thank you for seeing me.

(Note to Jeremy: Click the link above named 12 days journal #54, it will take you to the journal entry which created this journal that came to you first, the muse for the question “What is love?”. Go look at the comments, an annoying mouse posted a story which I heard recently, perhaps even this day, in the tubs.... there are no coincidences my love.)

February 21, 2010

Day 5 Photo Op- The Tchotch

Sunday...my first day at Esalen. Although as I write this I can hardly believe it, this place seems so familiar it is like I never left. Some things have changed, however, like the fact that I am sitting here writing at nearly 1 in the morning... instead of soaking at the tubs. I haven’t even been down to the hotsprings this evening. I just came straight into the lodge after dancing and started working...THIS is new! 


This is a picture of three of my favorite people: Rachael, Benjamin and The Tchotch. The Tchotch would be the small one wearing the onesie and the funny hat. To understand why she is called The Tchotch you would have to know her parents (just in case it is confusing, Benjamin is NOT the father of The Tchotch). For those of you who are alarmed about her being bullied, she does have another beautiful name, Skylah, but for now I, too, have taken to calling her The Tchotch.

Benjamin is a permaculturalist, and a lover of honey. He does amazing work at Esalen and around the world. I don’t pretend to understand all of what he does, but I can say his work is Holy and more necessary now than ever.

I love this place. Filled with Angels.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is the question in 12 days journal #315

February 20, 2010

Day 4 Photo Op- Tea House


We make teeth brushing look pretty good, don’t we? I think if the dental industry used us as poster children it could sell a lot of toothbrushes. 

This is me and Jill at the Tea House. This is the sacred place where our friend Dariel spends his days and nights, up in the mystical hills of Santa Cruz. The building is a tiny ceremonial tea house. It barely fits his bed and a desk. There is no other part of the house; this is it, just a tiny little 150 square foot place. Amazing. He does have a separate office where he runs Maggie’s Soapnuts , and it, too, is tiny. We spent this morning in an outdoor bath getting spa service while talking about God. It was one of those brilliant days, after an equally brilliant night. There is no way for me to explain to you right now how or why it was such a magical experience to be here...it just was. Perhaps if it weren’t so late and I weren’t so filled with bliss. Enter the picture. It was just that kind of day where even brushing my teeth seemed sacred, and look...I was not alone! The picture says it all. 


Dariel sent us these photos and the following in an email.


Dearest Bernice and Jill, 
 Thank you so much for blessing our home in Santa Cruz.  I look forward to your return.

  Namaste, juicy darlings, Namaste,

I am really liking this commitment.

“Have you ever experienced bliss?" is the question in 12 days journal # 314

February 19, 2010

Day 3 Photo Op- Mad Hatter

Today may be my last day in the SF bay area until August, so I was determined to visit some of the most wonderful, magical, nourishing places this town has to offer. In case you are imagining that I am talking about some big, orange bridge; think again. We have one of those in Nelson, although it is, admittedly, a bit smaller. I am talking about Dick Blick's and the Berkeley Hat Company. Both are a wonder to behold - Dick Blick's filled with every art supply you could even imagine, the hat shop with endless numbers of gorgeous hats...and I mean GORGEOUS!!  We spent over an hour trying on hats. The staff were right into our antics, our big girl dress up party. Here are a couple of photos of us trying out the merchandise. We had a good time...a darn good time. Boosh!!


“What do you collect? Why?” is the question in 12 days journal #313, which is a palindrome...neat

February 18, 2010

Day 2 Photo Op- Bye Bye

Today I did the deed. Sent an email to the school and all my classmates, told them I would not be continuing on with them, that I would instead be going back in August to live in Marin for a month. This offer to redo my schooling was a generous offer, one that has not ever been extended to anyone else. Even when life gets hard there is a silver lining that glints in the mostly sunny ski. I really do see that I have a blessed life, that even my hard times are filled with diamonds.

So the deed is done, tomorrow I will go to a park where my classmates will meet me. We will do a short ritual to acknowledge my leaving, to say good bye. In a program as intense and raw as Tamalpa people get very attached...maybe bonded is a better word. We know each others traumas, victories and precious stories. I know my leaving will be felt by my classmates, I know they love me. How wonderful is that? I love that my chosen path, my work, is done is settings where we can fall in love with each other.

Eu, Julia, KD, Claudia, Lorena, Lucie and Linda, you have changed my life forever. I love each of you, thank you for the blessings you have brought to my life.

“How has schooling played a part in your life?” is the question in 12 days journal #312

SIDE NOTE: In trying to send the pictures from my iPhone to my computer I deleted yesterday and toady’s photos...I know...brutal...like I said yesterday though, I plan to make up for it.

February 17, 2010

Day 1 Photo Op- Bean Weary

I am flying today with my friend Jilly Bean, she is really just called Jill, but I like Jilly Bean better. We are embarking on a 10 day trip together. Our paths will split a few time, she is going to Big Sur before me, and will be hanging out in San Fran while I am over in Marin at school, for at least one day anyway.

Road tripping is one of my all time favourite passions. I have a gypsy soul, and moving around, driving from town to town with no agenda ROCKS! I have no idea what the next 10 days will bring, but I know I will grow. I know my relationship with Jill will grow.

I love my sisters, not the blood kind, I don’t have any of those, the other kind. The friends who stick by me through thick and thin, the ones who will tell me like it is, who will forgive my floating in and out of their lives because of my nature and lifestyle. The ones who will say “What happened to the rest of you?” when they become concerned about my weight loss. The ones who want me at their birth even though I haven’t really shown up for them the way I want to. I love my sisters...AND...I have a much harder time with my relationship with womyn than I do men. I am not sure why this is, or if it matters, but I do see how it keeps me from getting as close to them as I would like to. I don’t believe my public school upbringing did me any favours in this area. Clumping children together in large same age groups leaves then scrambling to establish some sort of pecking order. With age out of the picture we turned to other ways of deciding how our pack would function. Somehow competing for boys and grades had us in competition with one another. The boys seemed to have more healthy outlets for this competition, we girls turned to catty behaviour. I have heard it said that “girls are just like that”. I don’t buy this for a second. I believe we all come in wanting to connect, understand ourselves and others, that it is cultural structure that has breed this catty nature. Anyway before I go too far out on a tangent I want to just say that friendships with other females have always felt more dangerous, or more filled with potential for pain, or at least they did. I am really coming into my relationships with my sisters, loving the communion and support. I am excited about my 10 days with Jilly Bean.

“What is your relationship with your sisters like?” is the question in 12 days journal #311

SIDE NOTE: I accidentally deleted the pictures for both today and tomorrows entry from my iPhone...can you friggen believe it...so no pic. So sad...I will make up for it though...promise.

Latest Commitment! Say Cheese!

12 days of nothing!

Ok not true. I considered it though...really! Even wrote it up and everything, but I changed my mind. Which helped me to see that it is time for a fun one. So here it is.

I commit to taking a picture everyday for the next 12 days and posting it and a LITTLE story about the picture... and I mean LITTLE! I am going away for 10 days of this commitment and I need to take it easy with this whole blog thing, have fun, dance my ass off...or back on...This is going to be fun.

And that’s it folks!

February 16, 2010

Day 12 Decision Time- Was that Cruel?

I am at the end of the commitment. I still haven’t decided 100%, but I have decided 90%. I have to go to school before I can really say what I am choosing. I am pretty sure I know how it looks but I need for it to organically unfold before I can be sure.

So here is the deal. It is being suggested to me that I leave school, that I come back this August and next for a month long intensive, that I delay my education for a while until I get my health in order. To be honest I know it is a damn good idea...but I can’t help feeling like I will be giving up on something...I just can’t figure out what? Me? Tamalpa? Working? Education...Ugh.

“Have you ever felt like a failure?” is the question in 12 days journal #310

February 15, 2010

Day 11 Decision Time- Home?

I am off to California again. I leave the day after tomorrow. I will be going to Esalen to dance. Packing for Esalen is complicated, for me at least. I have to pack enough clothes to sweat through them at least twice a day. They have to work for a whole variety of possibilities when it comes to the weather. I have been to Big Sur in the summer when it was freezing cold and in the winter when we were sunbathing nude during lunch break. And of course lets face it, the MOST important thing is that the clothes look damn good! I really love to dress up.

My trip this time will last for 10 days, it is a long one. The desision I am making will impact how often I continue to travel. I love my time in California. I love the places where I have become a regular, the food, my friends, the dancing. It is also begining to wear on me, on my girls, on Chris. It is my second home, and it is causing some strain on my first.

I am still very much undecided. One minute I am convinced I am going to choose one thing, 20 minutes later I want to choose the other. Sigh.

“Where do you consider to be your second home?” is the question in 12 days journal #309

February 14, 2010

Day 10 Decision Time- 3 Saints

I love Valentines Day, I believe that I may be in the minority though. A whole lot of folk round here are trashing the holiday. I hear about it being a “Hallmark” holiday, that it discriminates, causes a whole lot of expectation. I get all that, really I do. It is just that I personally love any excuse to celebrate love.

We decided to all go out for a delicious dinner; Me, Chris and Michael. Made a reservation for 3 at Fusion, my favourite restaurant. Got all dressed up and went out on the town to bust up conventional ideas about relationships and love.

Rose was NOT happy at being excluded from our Valentines plans. She refused to get out of the picture so you could see our snazzy outfits, so here is two pics. One of Rose being a complete pill and throwing things into the picture, the other our smilin faces without our fantastic outfits.



The food was unbelievable, the conversation fun and lively. The wine flowed, the dessert was amazing. When the server came to give us the bill she looked at both these beautiful men...and handed ME the check. Smart move.

Happy Valentines Day to you all! <3

"How do you celebrate love?" is the question in 12 days journal #308

February 13, 2010

Day 9 Decision Time- Inga

Well I finally did it, I particiapted in a Burlesque show. I love Burlesque, it is all about celebrating the sexiness of us gorgoues human beings. The show which is put on here in Nelson by Mary Scarlet Rose rivals any done in a big center. She celebrates diversity; diversity of body types, sexuality and performance style. The show is done as a fund rasier for the Womens Shelter. It is also a service to our community in that it brings sexuality out into the public eye in a playful way so we can all get used to the idea that sex is here to stay, nessasary in fact for the survival of our species. I figure if we are all created by sex, most of us have sex, why not have fun with the topic?!

Just to be clear, since I reread that last paragraph and thought to myself, “Geez Bernice they might think that Burlesque means sex show!. Burlesque is a dance where clothese are sexily removed. Different performers do it differently, there were many acts where nothing was removed, a few where only a few items were removed and a few more where the performers went down to pasties (glued on nipple covers), and tiny panties (or a fake minge ...click on the word if you want to know what it is). I was the sweeper, which means I went out in a sexy costume inbetween acts and collected what had been left behind. This involves a lot of bending over to show off cute frilly panties and antics, playing with the audience and otherperformers. It was perfect for me, no coreography or rehearsals, lots of stage time and many oppurtunities to play. I have a wonderful experience and who knows, maybe next year I will take off an item or two.


”How do you like to play?“ is the question in 12 days journal #307

February 12, 2010

Day 8 Decision Time- Day Off

Day Off...Drama, Migraine, Sleep...then my girls came in and showed me their Valentines. I got lots of cuddles, from everyone.

I am choosing not to write any more today. See you tomorrow after the burlesque show.

“What would you do with a day off?” is the question in 12 days journal #306

February 11, 2010

Day 7 Decision Time- Time Time Time

UGH!! I am falling way behind again. Time...god damn time (sorry God)!! I feel so time challenged lately.

I have a Mayan calendar theory that goes like this; we as a species will eventually loose the need to keep time, we will be come so present, so aware of our surroundings that the “keeping” of time will become irrelevant. This is why the Mayan calendar ends, simply because it become redundant, unnecessary. There is no big Armageddon, no collapse of economy and cultural structure that rocks the world and causes mass amounts of pain and suffering, just a simple blissful transcendence.

Doesn’t that sound a lot better than doom and gloom? This is what I am going to choose to believe. That my struggle with time is actually just part of the grand awakening. Some may call this deluded, I call it choosing my truth.


Shit I am running out of writing time, I have an appointment at 2:15pm, one I showed up for at 11:00am this morning. Yup I am a little time challenged at the moment, what can I say.

“What is your personal relationship with time?” is the question in 12 days journal #305

February 10, 2010

Day 6 Decision Time- Mythical Mask Making

Michael and I are doing a leather mask making workshop. Michael's is mostly complete. His is the one that looks like a mythical coyote. It looks amazing in person.


Mine is more ambiguous, I purposely didn’t choose a theme, archetype or animal, I just let the mask emerge. I believe it is a butterfly phoenix sadness mask...I have created my own archetype. It still needs to be stained, the colour really adds to the finished look of the mask.

We took the workshop from Hejon, the father of the MythMakers . If you ever get a chance to go see this travelling mythical circus go! They are a sight to see, like fairy world meets the Orc’s from Lord Of The Rings

“What archetype do you relate to?” is the question in 12 days journal #304

February 9, 2010

Day 5 Decision Time- Blah Blah Blah

Why is cleaning the house such a cause for conflict? It seems as though it is older than old too, like it goes back to the beginning of time when cave mama’s got mad at the whole clan for not cleaning up their mammoth bones .

Just in case you get the idea from reading this that I am one of those neat mothers, like my friend Tammy who always seemed to have a perfectly clean house no matter what, I am NOT one of those mothers. I struggle to keep my stuff in check. Most of the time I clean the bathroom on the fly, wipe a sink down on one trip, scrub the toilet the next, maybe . My home is rarely clean all at the same time, there are times when a whole room in clean though, I count this as a success. The fact that I struggle with cleaning seems to make the contention worse, maybe this is just a story I tell myself.

My family really does do the best they can. We are all still sick. This virus that got hold of us before Christmas is damn persistent. I have a mild case and every time I cough my body is rocked, my diaphragm spasms and I am left struggling to breathe. It is the most terrible cough I have ever had in my life. Lily is back to puking, Chris is basically bed ridden again, though he is so tired of being sick he keeps pushing himself which is likely prolonging things. Ayla is home and coughing, looking sad and frustrated. Rose is pretty perky while sick, always has been, what a gift. Michael just seems tired, he said a while back that he thinks his body is working to resist the virus.

I have a trust in our human form, that we are perfectly designed to deal with our environment, and with our humanness. This is why I choose to birth the way I do, the reason our family deals with illness by using herbs, homeopathic to support our system while it does the work that it was designed to do. I believe that the immune system functions better if it gets a chance to work, and that each time it becomes more and more able to deal with other things which will come along. My family’s immune system is going to be kick ass when this is all done...then maybe we can all clean the house. I need to chill about the house being clean.

“Do you like to clean?” is purposely ambiguous question in 12 days journal #303

February 8, 2010

Day 4 Decision Time- The Source Eternal

“Incredible though it seems, it is a fact
That Prana and pure consciousness react
On one another to produce the myth
Of this stupendous world we battle with.

Then consciousness a wondrous aspect wears,
So lofty and sublime that all our fears
And doubts about ourselves dissolve at once,
As if illuminated by one hundred suns
Of knowledge to be assured the Vision seen
Is that which will be , is and e’er has been;
The Source Eternal of all that is known.

The world of that too by which it is shown
The mind and process by which this is done:
The whole scheme of creation in but One

In this amazing Presence all
The staggering worlds, which awe us and enthral,
Become a ghostly shadow seen at night;
A far- off melting cloud in sunshine bright,
While mind, with ego vastly whittled down,
In mute astonishment sees itself drown,
Into one all-enfolding life sublime,
Only pure consciousness, devoid of time
And space, one all-embracing world of love
And joy not found on earth or heaven above.“

-Gopi Krishna


”Do you believe in a path to enlightenment?“ is the question in 12 days journal #302

I don’t often answer my own question here on the blog, this time though I feel pulled to comment.

I have never really considered enlightenment to be a realistic or desirable destination. I do however believe that the journey towards this ambiguous state of being is a sublime dedication worth buying a one way ticket for. Committing to travel this path filled with struggle and joy, following what I know from within, what is whispered and imprinted on my DNA, has long been my practice. I also have to admit that I never expected this long winding path to look this way. This path often narrows out to nothing but a barely perceptible rut, one which I question with every fibre of my being all the while dutifully treading on. It is often in these moments of almost complete doubt that the path opens right up into a super highway, furious and fast paced, lesson after lesson, confirmation everywhere that this IS the way, my way. I don’t really care if I ever find enlightenment. Truthfully the idea scares me, I am not ready to let go of all my attachments yet, but the journey I trust. Should I actually arrive at the terminus of this trip, evaporate into a light being, and merge with The Source Eternal of all that is Known, then I suppose I will be ready, at which time I will likely feel ready and will actually want it. For right now I will just journey, stop to rest when I need to, and continue following the voice of The Source Eternal, who is by the way a fabulous travelling companion.

February 7, 2010

Day 3 Decision Time- How Does your Garden Grow?

I was outside REO video store this evening when Chris made a comment to me about the public perception of him within of our blended family.

Michael and I had been grocery shopping, we met up with Raabis (Chris) in the dairy aisle. He had been at a writing workshop all day. He put his groceries into the cart and we strolled the aisles together. Raabis being able to go to a workshop on the same day I have a full day of rehearsals is one of the many perks of having 3 adults living in a house. When we had finished our grocery shop we went our separate ways, Michael and I to get veggies at the co-op, Raabis went to pick up Lily. We unexpectedly met back up at the movie store, we were dropping off Hump Day, a brilliant movie which, unbeknownst to us, addresses polyamory and the the relationship between men. He came over to my car and out of the blue said,

“You know I think there are a lot of people out there who have an idea that this living situation is something that is being forced upon me. People don’t seem to get how much space and freedom it has given me”.

Uh huh...Ugh... yes, this I know.

Mother guilt and wife guilt have been very hard to navigate through this last 8 months. In the beginning the major theme was that we were going to mess up our kids. Eight months later our children are doing great. There are still times that being “different” brings tears, but most often the kids express gratitude for how our blending has effected their day to day. The mama guilt factor is lower now for me, I am more confident in my choice; I can see the positive outcomes, rather than having to go on projected hopes for the future.

The wife guilt is a little harder. People seem more reluctant to be vocal with their ideas and stories in relation to the dynamic between the 3 adults. I suspect, I even feel confident saying “I know”, people have/had “poor Chris” ideas. I have to admit this kinda pisses me off, and it doesn’t give Chris much credit. I realize it is hard for many to not simply take themselves, their stories, their ideas and transplant themselves into our situation; imagine what they themselves would feel if they were thrown into a polyamorus cohabitating situation. This is not how it works though. We are not you. This is not new to us, we have been open for over 9 years now. We are meeting our needs in the way that works for us.

I can tell you till the cows come home that this is what Chris has chosen, that this is not him reluctantly acquiescing to my desire. I have a feeling whether you believe this or not doesn’t have a lot to do with me or what I say though, that it has everything to do with you. And since what anyone believes is likely to eventually change it is silly to even concern myself with it. Believe it or not, it is up to you.

I have chosen to believe what Chris tells me. And while he admits to having struggled at times with our new family dynamic, the consistent thing I both see and hear is that he is getting the space and time he needs. He also tells me he is ecstatic that I am following my hearts path. This is easy to believe because I know Chris loves me.

The other night, after I got the email which informed me of the choice I needed to make, I sat on the bed and cried. Michael to my left rubbing my head, Chris to my right holding my hand. They consoled me, helped me work through this seemingly impossible choice. They didn’t really advise, they trusted me, they loved me, together. Our situation is not orthodox, but it is beautiful. THIS is what I choose to see, this is where I focus, and I know that in doing so these parts of our relationships will grow. I am proud of how I tend my garden... how does your garden grow?


“What choices have you made that others in your life have questioned?” is the question in 12 days journal #301

February 6, 2010

Day 2 Decision Time- Grumpy Time

I actually had 4 commitments that I considered starting yesterday. I am nearing the end of this project; I have a mere 5 commitments left. I am already 2 days into this one...crazy!

I had to kibosh the original plan, I knew it was way too much for me right now. I was going to do art with Kelly everyday for 12 days.

Another idea was to give up something (nope, I am not telling you what it is... hee hee) for 12 days, I had to be really honest with myself and admit that this is one of the ways I am coping, to cut it out while I am walking this thin line would not be smart.

The other idea, the one other than simply giving myself 12 days to decide how to move forward with this decision, was to focus on what I CAN do right now. I have felt so limited lately. Yesterday Michael went skiing, I LOVE skiing, I chose not to go. Today he is up climbing Pulpit Rock, that lovely trail which I climbed 12 times, my second ever commitment, the first commitment where I knew I was going to do this project. He asked me if I wanted to go with him and our friend Judy. I WANT to go, but I am choosing not to. Tonight we have plans to go dancing, I have to conserve energy right now which means not doing a bunch of things I WANT to do in order to serve my larger goal of getting healthier. This has become very daunting.

I have been an athlete my whole life, even when I was stuck under nursing children for hours and not logistically able to get the outside time and exercise I craved I still had the ability. Even at times when I was a little out of shape, I could still drag myself up a mountain. This is the first time in my life that I have had to admit that I am not physically able. I mean that is not 100% true, I know through shear determination and pride I could get to the top of Pulpit...but then tonight I would want to sleep instead of going to the party, instead of dancing.....BLAH!

So...this is me grumpy. This is me with a bunch of little things from the morning and the big things of this last 6 months stuck inside my head creating a gooey yucky mood.

I had an extraordinary experience two Thursdays ago, in an instant something changed and I felt a palpable shift in my being. It was a simple thing, a lightning of the spirit, the best description I can give is that I felt like I was swimming in appreciation. Even with the struggle of this big decision I am making, all the sadness and confusion, I have managed to float through most of it in a blissful cloud. Today is my first day of feeling grumpy...I really don’t like it. I had a fantasy that this new blissful floaty feeling would last and last, overcome all, all the time...yes fantasy. Being human doesn’t work this way I realize, but it was a nice fantasy while it lasted.

Anyway in order to get back the blissful floaty feel I am going to focus not on what I can’t do, but what I CAN do, what I WANT to do. I am going to Bent Over Leather to get the rest of my Burlesque costume for the Valentines Day show I am in. Then I am going to Strutters, our local cool consignment store, to go get a couple pairs of pants...again. Remember the ones I got before, when none of my pants fit me anymore? These are now baggy in the butt...ugh...size 0 here I come.

When this is over, whatever this is and if there is such a things as over, I am going to get my booty back; my sexy round bottom that looked great 3 sizes ago...skinny is not all it is cracked up to be womyn...believe me.

Oh look I am still grumpy....BLAH!!!


Oh hey! On the non grumpy side of things, do you know what journal today's question goes into? 300!!! Can you friggen believe it?! I am almost done.

“What have you achieved that you are proud of?” is the question is...DRUM ROLL PLEASE.... 12 days journal #300 ...wow.

February 5, 2010

Day 1 Decision Time- Here a Blog, There a Blog...

I’m back!

Having Michael write my blog was so great for many reasons. I got a break number one...PHEW! Then there was watching him day after day pouring over his words, changing little fragments, being so careful. Seeing how commitment he was to doing it. You may have noticed he was much more timely with his entries than I have been lately! Then there was the content, what a beautiful man! What an honest man... day 2 was a little hard for me at first, he was just so honest, talking about getting me healthy again and having a baby...wow. There was also the part where he got to learn the in’s and out’s of blogging. I got to experience first hand the creation process as well as guiding him through the techie side of things, theses words you read on the screen, are but one part of blogging.

While Michael was writing I took the opportunity to take my computer into our local Mac store, Digerati. I met Ben there, or perhaps I could call him the “Mac Daddy”. He was fun and helpful, cleaned up my filthy machine (really, it was just gross!) and did some internal work as well, got my machine up from turtle speed to possum... I really need a new computer but right now it is not going to happen so he patched me up and sent me on my way for next to nothing.

When I was leaving he asked if I would be interested in teaching a workshop on blogging. I had never considered this idea until now. Hell ya I will teach a workshop! I have learned a lot about blogging by simply doing it every day for nearly a year, how to flog (an English term which means to sell) the blog, how to create something that brings people to the site, how to track progress of certain entries and events. I never quite followed all of what I learned about blogging, as you can see I STILL write really long posts which is a blogging non-no but then this is a lesson in and of its self. Nothing is set in stone, there are always going to be guidelines and there are always going to be the ones you don’t follow and sometimes this creates a whole new guideline.

Blogs are an amazing tool. They are grass roots news. They are a way in which a person like me, a 36 year old womyn from Canada, can have my story broadcast and read. I never imagined my following would get so big...I fantasized about it before I really knew what I was asking for, I didn’t really imagine this would happen, seems I forgot what a fantastic manifester I am! It is still amazing to me that so many want to know what I have to say, that you are reading this right now. Blogging...wow. I WILL teach a workshop on it soon, and don’t you worry, when I do you will know it because being a full time blogger has certainly taught me how to use facebook to its full advantage to flog just about anything! Ah...the internet...imagine the world without it.

Speaking of blogs...one of the reasons Michael did my blog was a test run for blogging. If you enjoyed reading his work, click here and go check his blog out.

And thank you Baby, for the break, for what you wrote, for being in my life, for being you.
(Michael writing in Oso, I believe this was Day 11 of Michael Land)

“What do you teach?” is the question in 12 days journal #299

Latest Commitment! What to do?

This is going to have to be one of those cryptic commitments. I am presently having to make a really tough decision. As fate would have it the last day of this commitment is the day I have to make it by. I will eventually tell you all what is going on, it is not something I feel I need to hide, only that it is sensitive and I want to wait to go public. I want to give myself the space to decide truly for MYSELF. Something that has long been a struggle for me as I usually choose the warrior way, the strong way the “I can do anything!” way. This time though I might give some time and thought to a way which benefits my sense of ease, my health, my outcome. I know that both these ways are choosing me, but they do so in very different ways...at this point I need to decided which way to go...OR (I can hear my Michael's voice running through my psyche) maybe this is not an either or, maybe there are other options?

I commit to taking the next 12 days to make a very important decision in my life, one that will effect my family, my friend both here and far away but most of all effects me, my hopes and dreams, my love and dedication, my commitment and devotion to this beautiful existence. I will revel what the decision is about, and what I have decided either at the end of this commitment or somewhere along the way. I am commitment to sharing this journey with anyone who reads, who wants to know. There are so many of you who read and then reach out and love me up. Thank you, you who is reading this sentence, thank you. Even now while I am struggling with this decision, what I am most overcome with is sheer joy at how carefully, mindfully, wonderfully loved I am by so many. (BIG SMILE across my teary face)

February 4, 2010

Day 12 Michael Land- So Long and Thanks for the Fish

**Written and submitted by Michael**

Well, this is it. It’s been fun. Twelve days of having a little taste of what it’s like for Bernice to put herself out there everyday, scanning each day for a nugget to spark something meaningful, hopefully, to share. I’ve got to hand it to her, it’s a lot of work to stay on top of the daily public purge or praise.

I’m glad I have had the experience of witnessing her, and taking my own turn. It’s helps to inform my choices about how I carry out my own blog. Yes, it’s true. I started a blog. Go figure! Since I’ve moved to a new community I’ve noticed a big change in my social networking. After living in Victoria for 8 years I had a big, beautiful community and family there that kept me in a steady flow of music, dancing, potlucks, cuddling, creating, and connecting. A strong conscious dance community that we build up over years of putting on events together. And a number of great organizations that I worked or volunteered with.

It’s true that my life is a little more domestic now, but I haven’t found so many of those places in my new town yet. So I’m excited to use this phenomenon we call blogging to call in the pieces of the puzzle I am working on. Only, I won’t be making a writing everyday commitment. I think I’ll keep it a bit more casual. I’ve enjoyed the exercise, though.

I’ve especially enjoyed reading comments from people, some who have been friends from back in Victoria, some people I haven’t met yet.

So I’m coming out! If you know me to be all but invisible on the internet, watch out! New times are coming. I’ve going techie. LOL! KWIM! ; o )
(OK, I had to ask for help with that!)

(This is me blowing you a kiss good-bye!)

Before I go, I just want to say one thing.

Ever since I’ve known Bernice, I’ve watched her strip herself naked for you to witness. It hasn’t been easy for her, I know that, her courageous truth-telling. Imagine if you were doing the same thing. Image your light and your shadow exposed to the public eye. Some people speak about what they think, whether to offer gratitude or praise, criticize or catagorize. Others don’t speak out, but actions and inactions sometimes do the talking. What she is doing takes a lot of courage. Remember that. Remember it when she strips herself naked, vulnerable and raw. Remember she is a strong, powerful woman, with a sensitive heart, and ask yourself, how am I celebrating truth?

“Who do you admire?’ is the question for 12 days journal #298.

February 3, 2010

Day 11 Michael Land- Empathy

**Written and submitted by Michael**

Tonight I had my first ever parent teacher meeting. It was a little unusual. We had deer chops at home with Lily’s fifth grade teacher. There was a technical glitch in the first scheduled meeting so he came to the house.

There were nine of us, since he brought his son, and one of Rosy’s friends was over for dinner while her mom went to a board meeting for the Woman’s Centre. After we ate the kids were asked to leave and Bernice, Chris, and I heard a reflection from Lily’s teacher about her academic, artistic, and social progress at school.

This is a Waldorf school and their approach seems a little more well rounded then most public schools. The extent of genuine care I saw impressed me. The kids have had some big events in their lives, Chris’s accident, me moving in, and now being sick for so long, and all these have impact on how they relate to friends and peers at school. The more awareness everyone has the more supportive we can be.

At one point in the conversation he spoke about now being an important time for Lily to be practicing empathy, and ways that she can do that through stories and helping people.

Wow, isn’t that cool. A teacher that talks about kids learning empathy.

I’d like to see it on the curriculum everywhere. That’s the kind of stuff I think we need to be teaching our children.

"Where did you learn empathy?" is the question for 12 days journal #297

February 2, 2010

Day 10 Michael Land- Circles

**Written and submitted by Michael**

Do it
With stars

It’s happening all around
Us, inside of
Us, at the centre
Our home is built this way
The one we all share
Water and dirt
Stuck to fire
Birds build
This way too
Our own egg of conception
Follows its form
And we, much more intricate now
Sense the primal call
To come back
To circle
Where we see each
Other, within the sacred
Gather round
The fire, spirit
Burns like a sun
And we, together here
In it’s warmth
Hearts open, ears
And eyes, witness of
What is, how we live
So that we may be, as always
By god
Tonight I’m going to my men’s circle. Sitting in circle is a practice that I believe is as old as consciousness. It is how we come together as tribe in a way where each person can be seen. I believe circle is an integral part of community. Whether it’s to hear what is in each other’s hearts, or to raise our voices together in song, the circle is the container that helps us find harmony and connection, when each voice is heard, and each heart cared for.

“How do you come together in circle with others?” is the question for 12 days journal #296

February 1, 2010

Day 9 Michael Land- Love

**Written and submitted by Michael**

I'm a fan of the subject of love. I want to share some exerpts from a book I'm reading called, Perfect Love: Imperfect Relationships, by John Welwood.

"The pure essence of love is like the sun in a cloudless sky... It is what comes through us naturally when we fully open up--to another person, to ourselves, or to life...

When we experience this kind of openness and warmth coming from another, it provides essential nourishment: It helps us experience our own warmth and openness, allowing us to recognize the beauty and goodness at the core of our nature. The light of unconditional love awakens the dormant seed potentials of the soul, helping them ripen, blossom, and bear fruit, allowing us to bring forth the unique gifts that are ours to offer in this life. Receiving pure love, caring, and recognition from another confers a great blessing: It affirms us in being who we are, allowing us to say yes to ourselves...

When the value and beauty of our existence is recognized, this allows us to relax, let down, and settle into ourselves. In relaxing we open. And this opening makes us transparent to the life flowing through us, like a fresh breeze that enters a room as soon as the windows are raised. This brings a sense of well-being, as well as genuine power... You experience the essential dignity and nobility of your existence, which does not depend on anyone else's approval or validation. In this deep sense of union with life, you realize you are not wounded, have never been wounded, cannot be wounded...


Yet even though the human heart is a channel through which great love streams into this world, this heart channel is usually clogged with debris--fearful, defensive patterns that have developed out of not knowing we are truly loved. As a result, love's natural openness, which we can taste in brief, blissful moments of pure connection with another person, rarely, permeates our relationships completely. Indeed, the more two people open to each other, the more this wide-openness also brings to the surface all the obstacles to it: their deepest, darkest wounds, their desperation and mistrust, and their rawest emotional triggers.

There is a good reason this happens: Before we can become a clear channel through which love can freely flow, the ways we are wounded must come to the surface and be exposed. Love as a healing power can operate only on what presents itself to be healed. As long as our wounding remains hidden, it can only fester...

Our beauty and our beast both arise from one and the same tenderness. When we harden against it, the beast is born. Yet when we allow the tenderness, we begin to discern the contours of a long-lost beauty hidden with the belly off the beast. If we can shine warmth and openness into the dark, tender place where we don't know we're lovable, this starts to forge a marriage between our beauty and our wounded beast.

This is, after all, the love we most long for--this embracing of our humanness, which lets us appreciate ourselves as the beautiful, luminous beings we are, housed in a vulnerable, flickering form whose endless calling is to move from chrysalis to butterfly, from seed to new birth. As earthly creatures continually subject to relative disappointment, pain, and loss, we cannot avoid feeling vulnerable. Yes as an open channel through which great love enters this world, the human heart remains invincible. Being wholly and genuinely human means standing firmly planted in both dimensions, celebrating that we are both vulnerable and indestructible at the same time."

Thanks Lilli.

“When do you feel indestructible?” is the question for 12 days journal #295